I’m leading a Bible Study on Zoom on Wednesday nights using a new book by NT Wright specifically for these days of social distancing, God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on Coronavirus and Its Aftermath. The book begins by giving a brief and basic understanding of how Greek thought influences our current day reactions to this pandemic. Wright mentions how we might find ourselves coping with the impact of this virus on our lives.
In our homes with a fair amount of grief, stress, and uncertainty of what will be next, we may find ourselves longing for a break from this malaise. We long to be transformed by God in a world that is altered because of contagious and often deadly virus.
We may be deciding how to return to in person worship or navigating drive-in services and online platforms. I confess I look forward to the day when I will preach for the first time in the sanctuary, or fellowship hall for the contemporary service, in my new appointment to a large crowd. With the likelihood of limiting capacity down the road, like so many I long for a return to “normal.” And yet, as I read the words Paul wrote to Romans, I’m challenged to seek God’s eternal ways instead of soothing my soul with worldly means.
Read Romans 12:2:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Reflect: How are you seeking God’s will in the midst of this pandemic? How are you tempted to soothe your weary soul with the ways of this world? How is God transforming and renewing your mind?
Take Action: Find ways to transform and renew your mind when you are stressed or overwhelmed. Read a good book. Take part in one of the great webinars offered by the Center for Leadership Excellence. Attend a virtual continuing ed. event like COSROW’s I AM Her, coming up Oct. 8-10. Watch an informative TED Talk. Check out the COSROW FB page for more opportunities to learn. Listen to how God may be convicting you to change by having your mind renewed.
Center for Leadership Excellence and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women
We are grateful to the Rev. Laura Dunlap, pastor at Walnut Grove UMC, for writing this month’s issue of Encouragements.
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